When we serve others, we serve ourselves. Do not think, I will help others, think rather, I will help my own, my world, because I cannot otherwise be happy. The law of life is designed to teach us how to live in harmony with objective Nature and with our true, inner nature.
As a person advances spiritually, and discovers joy and divine insight within himself, he naturally wishes that he could find ways to bring his glowing sense of happiness and well-being to all mankind. Yet he learns soon enough that he must deal with things as they are…
It is right and good that each of us do his best to make this world a better place to live in. God is not pleased with selfishness. If a devotee hoards selfishly even the grace he receives in meditation, he gives power to his ego, not to his soul. It may not always be possible for us to accomplish quickly, or easily, our altruistic ends. This fact should not deter us from doing what good we can. Made in the image of God as all of us are, we have potentially within us His hidden power. Let us then live and work from a sense of His guidance and strength within, and not from ego-consciousness.
When you see the gloom of hopelessness, shoot it at once with hope-awakening smiles. Do not form the habit of sorrowing but form the habit of smiling. Make yourself adamant against taking offense, and freely forgive and forget those who offend you. Never get angry. Never allow yourself to become the victim of another’s anger. Do your best to overcome difficulties, but smile first, last, and all the time. There is no better panacea for sorrow, no better reviving tonic, than smiles. There is no greater power with which to overcome failure than a real smile. There is no better ornament than a genuine smile. There is no beauty greater than the smile of peace and wisdom glowing on your face.
Excerpted from How to Be Happy All the Time by Paramhansa Yogananda